Digital Geography

Short Announcement: Landsat 8 Data Users Handbook

Landsat 8 is the successful successor of Landsat 5/ Landsat 7. It was launched on February 11, 2013. Since then we saw a major increase in possibilities of getting access to the data and integrations in software packages. Now the USGS published an in-depth document to support the basic understanding for the Landsat 8 observatory and its science data products.

First images from recently launched Sentinel 2 satellite

The earth observation satellite Sentinel-2 with Sentinel-2A and Sentinel 2B was launched on June 23rd 2015 from space centre Kourou in French Guiana. The mission is part of the Copernicus mission by ESA. The liftoff was recorded by ESA and can be watched here. Sentinel will be a complement to the multispectral satellites of the Landsat mission and SPOT. All observation systems in combination reveal a higher temporal resolution by shifted orbits and large stripe widths (Sentinel: 290km). Sentinel has a repetition rate of 10 days, Landsat 8 of 16 days but in combination with Landsat 7 a 8 day…

Landsat in Love with QGIS: the newest coup from Luca

The normal way of getting Landsat data for your GIS projects often was: visit a Landsat data mart like landcover.org, earthexplorer or WIST, search for your area and time and download/order your desired data. Once you’ve done this, you were prepared to add, analyse and publish this data/results with QGIS. Luca Congedo from the blog “From GIS to Remote Sensing” .

Forest fire tracking with Landsat-8

On July 31st a forest fire broke out in the Swedish county of Västmanland. The fire was quite large by Swedish standards covering an area described as 10 x 15 kilometres. There is, to date, one confirmed death. The fire required a intensive response by the emergency services. It is located close to villages and towns and could not be allowed to spread out of control. Firefighters from the Stockholm region were deployed to assist local firefighters, the army reserve was deployed and 10 helicopters were allocated to assist fire fighting. Planes from France and Spain arrived to assist local…

Landsat-8: how not to plan a mission (Part 2: the sensors)

In my previous post I described the difficult process that led to the launch of Landsat-8. Here I will comment on the two sensors, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS), that comprise the sensor package on the Landsat-8 (L8) platform. This post will come across as highly critical, in some ways it is. I do want to point out though, at the start, that I appreciate the work of NASA and the USGS in securing the future of the Landsat programme: a program of global importance. In fact the programme has been so chaotic and ad…

Landsat-8: how not to plan a mission (Part 1: policy)

I was recently reading the 2012 article by James R. Irons and colleagues describing the Landsat-8 mission (or Landsat Data Continuity Mission, LDCM, as it was then called)¹. They do a very good job in describing the mission from planning to inception. I like to think of this paper as a guide to how not to plan an Earth Observation mission. Here’s my reasoning. Landsat-8’s difficult conception The logic behind Landsat-8 (L8) is impeccable. US agencies had realised that operational remote sensing, including at the Department of Agriculture and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), not to mention science, relied on…